If you do not know, I am Catholic. Lent is upon us as today is Ash Wednesday. I have been thinking about what I want to “give up” for Lent this year. As a child, we were always encouraged to give up something, whether it be candy, gum, or soda. As I grew, in age and faith, I learned that it isn’t so much about what you give up. It is more about a sacrifice you make for Christ just as He did for us. I can give up soda, but would that be something I am doing in good spirit, or just because it is what is expected of me?
This year I have decided to not give up anything. I am not going to give up chocolate, soda, or any type of food. I am not going to drink less or do something else that truly doesn’t reflect the love I have for my Savior. I am, instead, going offer myself to God. I think doing something positive is a much greater sign of devotion to God than any type of minimal “sacrifice” I can offer.
I am going to sacrifice for Him though. I am going to give more of my time, to God specifically. This year, I am joining a small faith group that will meet for the first time on Ash Wednesday. I will attend weekly throughout Lent to gain a better understanding of the Eucharist and spend time with God. In addition, I am going to make sure I attend church every week. I have done very well with this, but I want to make sure I continue. I am going to pray more and offer my thanks to God for all he has given me. I am going to read daily devotions during Lent (I got a free book for my Kindle!) and grow in my faith on a daily basis. Finally, I am going to try to attend the Stations of the Cross during Lent; something I have not participated in for years.
You don’t have to give up something for God… give of yourself to God instead.